For most of his career, pianist/vocalist Mickey Gilley lived in the shadow of his cousin, Jerry Lee Lewis, playing a similar fusion of country, rock, blues, and R&B. In the early '70s, he managed to breakthrough into country stardom, but it wasn't until the late '70s, when he became associated with the urban cowboy movement, that he became a superstar. Gilley, like Lewis, was raised in Ferriday, LA. It wasn't until Jerry Lee had a hit with his first Sun single, "Crazy Arms," that Mickey decided he wanted to pursue a musical career. Gilley began recording for a number of independent Texas labels without much success in the late '50s. In the early '60s, he became a local favorite by playing a never-ending series of bars and clubs. In 1970, he opened Gilley's Club in Pasadena; the honky tonk had previously been known as Sherry's Club, and its owner, Sherwood Cryer, asked Mickey to re-open the bar with him. Gilley signed with Epic Records in 1978. The following year, the film Urban Cowboy — which was based on Gilley's Club and featured a cameo by Mickey, as well as several of his songs — brought him to national attention, which resulted in a string of six straight number one singles.